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Why My Smartphone Is the #1 Tool in My Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit

MOBILE APPS / 06.29.16 / Ryan Blundell

Rear View Of ZombieLike many people today, I’m a fan of zombie shows and movies. And like the undead, I’ve developed a taste – nay a craving – for two specific types of zombie entertainment. They must either have excellent writing and visual storytelling, or they have to be so horribly awful that they end up as unintentional “zomedies.”

At this point, we still have to wait until October until the season 6 premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead. I’ve been enjoying Fear the Walking Dead as both a fill-in as well as a powerful, standalone series. Unfortunately, its mid-season premiere doesn’t happen until August. What I like most about Fear the Walking Dead is its timeline; in it, the world only recently fell apart, so today’s technology could be a major factor in anyone’s survival plan. Solar charging backpacks, thermoelectric generators, and ultraviolet water purification products are but a few of the tools we can use when we need to bug out when the dead are out.

Our smartphones could also play a critical role before and after a hypothetical zombie apocalypse occurs, just as they help us in many other ways in a world without walking corpses.

Truth be told, I may not survive long if such an event does unfold. At best, I would be the TV version of Dale (still miss you Dale!) with a ginger beard. Dale may have had that sweet RV, but I have a smartphone! Before you pull out your crossbow or Lucille on me, please hear me out; your smartphone has many capabilities beyond taking pictures of your meal. If you consider its knowledge, distraction, and navigation features, it may give you a bit of an edge at the end of the world.

And if you have a smartphone with powerful battery life, power banks or portable chargers, a generator or a solar battery, and a durable case, you could turn that smartphone into a versatile survival tool.

Use Your Brrrraaaaaaainnn…

Theoretically, data connectivity will be available before an outbreak hits and possibly for a short while afterwards. You could access social media to get first-hand tweets or posts about activity (undead, military, or otherwise) in your area. Someone may also post safe locations.

You could quickly look online to get info on how to sterilize water, which wild berries are safe to eat, or how to build a temporary shelter; preparation-focused sites may be best for survival tips while trying to outrun Walkers. While weather apps are best for short-term forecasts, they typically give you a 14-day trend, allowing you to focus on immediate survival needs first. Your phone could also help you understand how to use or even craft weapons.

Use Ghoul Tools

Your smartphone’s calculator can also help you calculate distance, weight, and volume conversions for a variety of situations. It could help you stretch out rations or determine how long fuel will last during your escape. Your LED light could be used to illuminate the way or to signal someone through Morse code (just be sure the zombies don’t see you). Someone could be broadcasting through FM radio, which you could access with your BlackBerry.

Even something as simple as your clock and calendar could come in handy for knowing the time, especially if you’re holed up in a building without windows and losing track of the days and nights. And that clock could help you figure out your positioning if you had access to a sextant. Otherwise, GPS, mapping, and a compass could be useful in the short term.

Defend and Distract

If you manage to survive for a few weeks, you’ll quickly learn that you not only have to protect yourself from the undead, but other humans as well. Sorry, that’s the apocalypse that you’ll be living in! If you don’t mind the possibility of parting with your smartphone (if only temporarily), you can use it to your advantage as well.

Humans and zombies are both attracted to sound. Use your phone to set a timer for an alarm that will draw them to your it while you either sneak away or take them out while they’re distracted. That LED light you used for illumination and communication could be combined with a flashlight app to create a strobe effect, possibly disabling an assailant, albeit temporarily. Yes, folks, thousands of previously useless flashlight apps are now your last line of defense!

Hold Onto Your Humanity

There’s a lot of storage in that smartphone of yours. When times look bleak, when you need a source of inspiration to push on, you could look at photos and videos of loved ones, whether they’re still with you or lost along the way. They’ll serve as a reminder of what’s important. Your calendar can also keep track of important occasions, because they will still matter to you after society has fallen.

As groups and communities start to form, a new way of life will begin. This may include trading agreements with neighbouring groups. For some, their word is their bond; so an audio or video recording could serve as a reminder or evidence – or even blackmail if it comes down to it – that you have a treaty in place.

As you try to stay alive, you can also keep the music alive, provided as you have downloaded music directly on your device. There’s no streaming during the apocalypse!

Until That Last 5% of Battery Life…

Everything has a function and purpose during the zombie apocalypse, even your smartphone. If you were addicted to it before, I would suggest you get over that quickly once the dead starting walking. You’ll have to learn to let go if you need to run; or at least try to not to get eaten while playing Star Trek: Timelines. Hey if all else fails, you could shove your smartphone into the mouth of a zombie.

These are some of the ways I think my BlackBerry would help keep me alive during the zombie apocalypse. Let us know how you would use your smartphone in the days of the dead.

Ryan Blundell

About Ryan Blundell

Ryan has been involved in the wireless industry for well over a decade; currently managing technical communication, interaction design and content strategy for a Canadian wireless provider. He has previously been published on Innovation Insights, Business 2 Community, Everything Zoomer and You can follow Ryan on twitter @ryanblundell